The midnight ride of Sybil Ludington
April 26, 2008 1:57 PM   Subscribe

Listen my children and you shall hear, Of the midnight ride of Sybil Ludington - While most Americans have heard of Paul Revere, many have not heard of Sybil Ludington and her midnight ride. 231 years ago today, she rode 40 miles at night to warn the colonial militia that the British were burning Danbury, Connecticut.
posted by Argyle (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So essentially this was during war, the flames from the burning town were visible in the night sky, she failed to rouse the troops in time to save the town, and if you've ever been to Danbury Connecticut then you'd know the place had it coming.
posted by Hogshead at 2:19 PM on April 26, 2008 [2 favorites]

The American Storyteller Radio Journal: Sybil Ludington [warning: schmaltzy delivery].
posted by ericb at 2:20 PM on April 26, 2008

Women, can't live with 'em, can't include them in the history books.


Is this thing on?
posted by John of Michigan at 2:31 PM on April 26, 2008

Nice Argyle. First I heard of this.

Once again, the NRA steals a bit of American history and claims it for their own purposes. Interesting that the NRA nomination form for the "2009 Sybil Ludington Woman's Freedom Award" says nothing about horsemanship....

Also interesting that the militia Ms Ludington was sent to arouse was actually an organised, well-regulated militia. Today, the NRA would have it so she could just knock on any door for help. Danbury would be saved!
posted by three blind mice at 2:39 PM on April 26, 2008

I'm pretty sure this is part of the current elementary school curriculum. Everyone at my school had to learn about her, at least.
posted by KingoftheWhales at 3:02 PM on April 26, 2008

I just taught my first and second graders about her last week.
posted by Huck500 at 3:49 PM on April 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've heard of Sybil Ludington!

That statue's down the block from me.
posted by unsupervised at 4:00 PM on April 26, 2008

Burn her! She's a witch!
posted by resurrexit at 4:06 PM on April 26, 2008

Well, nothing rhymes with Ludington.

(Cool story!)
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:20 PM on April 26, 2008

Well, nothing rhymes with Ludington.
“Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of a lovely feminine Paul Revere
Who rode an equally famous ride
Through a different part of the countryside,
Where Sybil Ludington's name recalls
A ride as daring as that of Paul's.

The Colonel, muttered, ‘And who, my friend,
Is the messenger I can send?
Your strength is spent, and you cannot ride;
And, then, you know not the countryside.
I cannot go, for my duty's clear.
When my men come in, they must find me here.
There's devil a man on the place tonight
To warn my troopers to come and fight.
Then, who is my messenger to be?’
Said Sybil Ludington, ‘You have me.’

‘You?’ said the Colonel, and grimly smiled.
‘You, my daughter, you're just a child.’
‘Child!’ cried Sybil, ‘Why I'm sixteen.
My mind is alert, and my senses keen.
I know where the trails and roadways are
And I can gallop as fast and far
As any masculine rider can.
You want a messenger? I'm your man.’” sup>*
posted by ericb at 4:35 PM on April 26, 2008

There was a postage stamp released during the US bicentennial featuring Sybil Ludington.
posted by telstar at 5:50 PM on April 26, 2008

The Founding... Mothers?!?
by Rob Corddry

When the editors asked me to contribute an essay or two, I only had one question: "Quanto dinero por mi?" Having resolved that issue, I was presented with the challenge of writing on a subject I admittedly knew little -- okay, nothing -- about: The Founding Mothers, or, as I have cleverly punctuated it in the title above, "The Founding... Mothers?!?" Here's what I found on the Internet:

Betsy Ross
Everybody knows Betsy Ross was the one who "got it all sewed up" in the theme song from that show Maude. But what you may not have known is the thing she "sewed up" was the American flag! I'm talking about Old Glory! The Ol' Red, White and Blue! Ol' Ironsides! Cap'n Jack! I did some research and it turns out if Betsy Ross was alive and sewing American flags today, she'd be a 13-year-old Laotian boy.

Abigail Adams
Abigail Adams was the wife of President John Adams and was widely considered his intellectual equal. (He must have been pretty stupid!) In fact, she once wrote to her husband, "Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors," making her one of the country's first feminists. My guess? She was a dyke.

Mary Hays, aka "Molly Pitcher"
This is actually a pretty cool story. During the Revolutionary War, soldiers would often get very thirsty while fighting. That's where May Hays came in, bravely carrying pitchers of water to the soldiers, running unarmed across the battlefield as bullets and shells whizzed by her. Once during Pledge Week, the brothers made us carry thimbles full of our own urine across the Quad while screaming "Faggots!" in our faces, so I know what she went through.

Sybil Ludington
Finally, there's Sybil Ludington, who at 16 years old rode 40 miles around the town of Fredericksburg, New York, to alert local militia the British were coming. She's often called "The Female Paul Revere." Although really, she rode twice as far as Paul Revere, so maybe he should be called "The Male Sybil Ludington!" Just kidding, that would be gay. I found this story by accident during my routine Google search for "16-year-olds + horses."

So as it turns out, alongside the dozens of Founding Fathers whose words and deeds continue to reverberate throughout American society, there were, what, four or five women of note? Yeah, that sounds about right. I'm outta here.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:33 PM on April 26, 2008

You GO, girl!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:33 PM on April 26, 2008

Unfortunately, the story is probably not credible.
posted by nasreddin at 9:06 AM on April 27, 2008

I had indeed heard of her, because I collected stamps in the 70s.
posted by JanetLand at 4:47 AM on April 28, 2008

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